Thursday, April 26, 2012

Packers 2012 Mock Draft: 1st Through 4th Rounds

Earlier I wrote about six players the Green Bay Packers could select in the 5th through 7th rounds, and I explained how I'm conducting this mock draft to limit the pool of players I'm actually choosing from. I'm more interested that GM Ted Thompson at least addresses these particular positions in the draft.

4th round, pick 133. Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson. Ranked 136 by CBS Sports. There may be some concerns about a neck injury, and there are some concerns about his lack of speed. But he was a productive college player, and in the short-term, he'd be a fine replacement for departed free agent Pat Lee. Or he could compete to be the 4th string CB against Davon House.

4th round, pick 132. California DE Trevor Guyton. Ranked 132 by CBS Sports. He's not a pass rusher, but at 6-3 and 285 lbs. he could become a solid defensive end in a 3-4 system. He'd challenge C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn for a backup role, or a rotational spot, on the defensive line.

4th round, pick 123. Troy LB Jonathan Massaquoi. Ranked 126 by CBS Sports. He'd be a small school project, but he's talented and shown some skill as a pass rusher in college. With Erik Walden re-signed for one-year and $725,000, along with Frank Zombo and Brad Jones returning, Massaquoi wouldn't be needed to do it all next season. If he could provide a pass rush off the edge, he would be an immediate help.

3rd round, pick 90. Troy OL James Brown. Ranked 102 by CBS Sports. Back-to-back players from Troy? OK, it's unlikely, but in a weak draft class for centers, he strikes me as someone who may have enough athletic talent to play at either center or guard in a couple years. Otherwise known as the time at which Jeff Saturday retires. They do need to find someone who can either be the center of the future or provide depth at guard, and Brown might be able to do both.

2nd round, pick 59. Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming. Ranked 59 by CBS Sports. In a weak draft for safeties, I'm looking at cornerbacks who could play safety. At 5-11 and 206 lbs. he's about the same size as Nick Collins. He's described as a zone defender, which is basically the Packers defensive scheme in the middle of the field. I like reading that he has good closing speed and ball skills.

1st round, pick 28. Penn State DT Devon Still. Ranked 28 by CBS Sports. They have to address the defensive line in the 1st round. They need a talented big man to take the pressure off B.J. Raji, and provide some production. There are some questions whether he'll play with a mean streak, and whether he's a one-year wonder, but the talent is there. If not Still, then I hope they draft the best defensive lineman available.

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